Dr Mayumi Hayashi – Chair

azuki_mayumiDr Mayumi Hayashi( FRSA), originally from Japan, is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Institute of Gerontology at King’s College London and an Associate Research Fellow in the Centre for Japanese Studies at the University of East Anglia. Her research focuses on the care of older people in Britain and Japan, with particular reference to the voluntary sector.

Her doctoral research at the University of East Anglia examined the contemporary history of residential care for older people in Britain and Japan. The book based on her PhD thesis: The care of older people: England and Japan, a comparative study (Pickering & Chatto) is published in June 2013; She has expanded her research perspectives into current policy issues and practical implications of various care options. Her recent research includes outreach projects on informal care and social engagement for older people, and work on Japan’s ‘time-banking’ in elderly care.

In 2011 Dr Hayashi received a CUE East Individual Public Engagement Award for her engagement initiatives on the care of older people in Britain and Japan. She regularly contributes articles on journals and newspapers.


Setsuo Kato

azuki_setsuoMr Kato was born in Tokyo and studied journalism at Waseda University. He joined Keystone Press Tokyo in 1966. He came to London in 1970 to study photo-journalism at College of Journalism in Fleet Street. Married English ceramicist Jill Fanshawe. He widely worked for Japanese newspapers, magazines, radio and television covering Britain and Europe. He has published 12 books. From 1991 to 2002 he published own newspaper ‘The Nichi-ei Times’ serving the Japanese community in the UK. He is the editor of the Nippon Club (society for Japanese companies) and currently is teaching photography in London.

He is Japan Liaison Advisor for the Leach Pottery Reservation Project, a member of the Japan Society Award Selection Committee, Executive Committee for the Nippon Club and the Japanese Residents Association in the UK. He was awarded Japanese Ambassador’s Award and Japan Society Award both in 2000, and the Foreign Minister’s Commendation in 2015  in recognition of his longstanding contribution to the promotion of Japan-UK relations.He is a member of National Union of Journalists. He is enjoying travelling, walking in the countryside and allotment.

Richard Hays – Treasurer

azuki_richardMr Hays  was born in Birmingham but has lived for most of his life in London. After attending Kings College, London he qualified as a chartered accountant and a chartered tax adviser. Most of his working life has been spent with KPMG an international firm of chartered accountants advising on corporate taxation.
He enjoys swimming and cycling and takes a lively interest in the visual arts, architecture and German opera.  He likes walking in the countryside.

Dr Soong Moon Kang – Secretary

azuki_soongDr Kang is an Associate  Professor in Management Science and Innovation at University College London. His teaching and research interests include business strategy, innovation, entrepreneurship, social network analysis and complex systems. Prior to his academic career, Soong had an extensive industry experience in Europe, Asia and the U.S.A. He worked as a manager for market analysis and business strategy for Snecma in Paris, and as a consultant in corporate strategy for LG in Seoul. In Silicon Valley, he co-founded an Internet company, and he was a consultant and advisor to many start-up companies, venture capitalists, and large corporations, including Daimler. He holds a Ph.D. in Management Science and Engineering, a M.A. in Sociology and a M.S. in Engineering-Economic Systems from Stanford University, and a degree of Diplom-Ingenieur in Mechanical Engineering from Technische Universität Berlin.

Founder and Director

Akiko Yanagisawa

Akiko Yanagisawa (FRSA)is an experienced creative producer and arts coordinator, specializing in Japanese music and culture. She has produced, promoted and curated  highly-acclaimed projects, events and outreach projects in more than 25 countries across the UK, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Oceania, creating one of the most successful platforms outside Japan. She also conducts research commissioned by think-tanks and the Japanese government, as well as writing articles for magazines and national newspapers in Japan on cultural topics in the UK and Europe.  Akiko is enthusiastic about social change and founded Azuki Foundation in 2012. She holds BA in Philosophy at Gakushuin University,Tokyo, and MA in Arts Management at The City, University of London.